Governmental Regulation of the Media (REVISED)
Regarding the simple idea of the government regulating all aspects of the media, I do not think this is the direction our nation should be headed in. Our nation is based on freedom of speech and other core values that allow us to speak out and promote individualism. This is something that I think should never be abolished through control of the media. However, I do think that the government should have the right to play a vital role in regulation of the media. I think that yes, the government should be allowed to exercise more power for prior restraint and to block publication of material it feels might hurt national security interests. This seems obvious! Protecting the rights and safety of national security should be in our nation’s best interest. Of course, it should also be in our best interest to express ourselves, but only to a certain extent. Blocking publication of something that may be harmful can be a necessary move to protect national security, and the government should have the green light to assess the matter. A difficulty in doing this may be argumentation on what exactly is material that could be threatening. This may cause a lot of controversy. Nonetheless, despite the controversy and differing points of view, I feel that the government should ultimately be able to control threatening or harmful publications in the media to keep our nations ideals and practices in place. In our Converging Media book, it outlines the fact that historically, aside from the United States (Europe/European colonies), a “public service ethos for electronic media was most prevalent”. This meant that there was a limitation on the amount of media (radio/television) that were officially licensed by the government. It talked about how programming content was much more focused on news and cultural shows rather than shows based solely on entertainment. I think that the change in media from being focused on ‘the principle of public service’ to mainly supplying “pure entertainment”, definitely draws attention to the fact that media (naturally) is becoming more and more diverse. With this diversity in the media combined with freedom of speech can also bring content that may either be explicit or too offensive for certain audiences, or a video/content leak that may breach guidelines of national security or another branch of the government.